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Bells and Ravens - In our Blood

Bells and Ravens
In our Blood
by Jean-François ‘’Jackal’’ Poulin at 23 February 2020, 8:18 AM

BELLS AND RAVENS are a band out of Strasberg, Deutschland. This band was supposed to be a side project but turned into something even bigger. They are a traditional Heavy Metal band with some Power Metal elements. Matt Carviero is the mainman and he does pretty everything on this album and he is quite literally everywhere on this album.

They are very reminiscent of bands like CRIMSON GLORY, RIOT and early SAVATAGE. However this album is separated in two halves. The last three songs seem to be added as an afterthought or to simply showcase what the band can do in another style of music. It may or may not be an afterthought but these last three songs are reimagining of three classic (pun intended) classical songs by some of the greatest composers in the history of music.

The first half of the album is more traditional Heavy Metal and packs a punch. I can hear those bands I previously eluted to in the prior paragraph. The songs (well most of them) are a love letter to this genre and they are really well put together. He put his heart and soul on these songs and they are highly enjoyable. This album really reminded me of the DENNER SHERMAN project a few years back that I really enjoyed, just a throwback to the roots of Heavy Metal.

My only gripe about this first half is the ballad called ‘’Until I Leave’’, I know it’s a highly personal song for Matt Carviero, it was written after the passing of his father. The lyrics are really emotional and thought provoking but it’s just really boring unfortunately. I can understand it’s place on the album and I am not dissing the subject matter at all but this song just was a big dud for me. The classical guitar work is on point and he pours his soul in this song but it’s not my cup of tea.

The second part of the album was absolutely fantastic. They decided to transform some classical compositions into full-blown Heavy Metal. It’s a tone down version of anything that TRANS-SIBERIAN ORCHESTRA has done, well at least there isn’t the Christmas chaos throughout. The songs are so fluid and just awesome. I love classical music and one of the first cassettes (remember these?!?) I bought was a collection of the classics. I guess that’s why I love Neo-Classical bands like SYMPHONY X and was immediately attracted to them very young. His arrangements of the three songs are incredible and a full album of these songs would have been a godsend. I would have reviewed this album even higher!

All in all, this a love letter to great underrated Metal bands like the aforementioned SAVATAGE mixed with some Classical Metal Random Goodness!

Songwriting: 8
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 8
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Rise
2. Bridges Ablaze
3. Now
4. Until I Leave
5. The Fire Inside
6. 1808 (Beethoven’s 5th Symphony; 1st Movement)
7. 1877 (Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake; Act 2, No 10)
8. 1896 (Brucker Metal Medley Symphonies 8.4 and 9.2)
Lineup:
Matt Carviero – Guitars, Bass, Keyboards, Drum and Orchestration Programming
Selin Schonbeck – Vocals
Record Label: Dr. Music Records
     


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